Here’s to 40 and beyond.
Moderate rain showers hit Sea-Tac Airport earlier this afternoon, lifting the total precipitation observed in Seattle this year above 40 inches—some 2.5 inches higher than the yearly norm, with a month and a day to go. With the rainy pattern that began yesterday expected to remain in place well into next week, we’ll continue to pad our 2012 rainfall stats as the calendar turns to December, possibly reaching 42 inches by the end of next week.
However, as impressively soggy as the year has been—despite the fact that we saw the driest two-and-a-half-month period in Seattle history earlier this year—it’ll take a fairly wet December for 2012 to one-up the 46.99 inches that fell just two years ago.
The big four-oh is almost here.
The only question: Will Seattle reach 40 inches of rain for the year on Wednesday or Thursday?
Our recent soggy weather—including the record-setting 2.13 inches that drenched the city on Nov. 19, and the 1.26 inches that fell on Friday—has pushed Seattle’s 2012 rainfall total to the brink of 40 inches, with 39.84 inches the official tally through today. After a pair of sunny, dry days tomorrow and Tuesday, light rain is forecast to return sometime on Wednesday, with an additional rainmaker arriving Thursday.
Really? The rain couldn’t hold off just a little longer?
Very light rain fell in the 11 o’clock hour last night, ruining Seattle’s chances of bagging a completely dry November day for just the second time this month. With a trace of rain officially recorded for Thanksgiving 2012—and .71 inches already today—Nov. 15 remains the month’s sole dry day, having gone from beginning to end without a drop of rain.
Thankfully, it’ll have plenty of company soon.
So that’s what 2-plus inches of rain feels like.
Sea-Tac Airport measured a whopping 2.13 inches of precipitation yesterday, giving Seattle its first 2-inch daily rainfall in almost two years. While in recent times we’ve typically seen one 2-inch rain day a year (it’s happened on 10 occasions since 2000), that wasn’t the case in 2011. Last year’s wettest day constituted “only” 1.76 inches—handing Seattle its first year without a 2-inch rainfall since 2004, and making yesterday’s drenching all the more memorable. (Our last 2-inch-plus day came on Dec. 12, 2010, with 2.19 inches.)
The 2.13 inches of rain easily broke the mark for the soggiest Nov. 19 at Sea-Tac, besting the 1962 record by .90 inches. At the National Weather Service office in Sandpoint, it was even wetter—with the 2.60 inches that fell Monday more than doubling the previous record of 1.16 inches for the day, set there in 2003. (Rainfall measurements have been taken at the Sandpoint office since 1986.)
Didn’t we just have our wettest day of the year?
It’s been less than three weeks since Seattle was drenched with 1.36 inches of rain on Oct. 30—beating out the 1.09 inches that fell on Jan. 29 for the honor of 2012’s wettest day. Now, only half a month later, a strong November storm is poised to bear down on the region later tonight into tomorrow, inundating Puget Sound with up to two inches of rain.
With the majority of the rain expected to fall tomorrow, Monday is likely to eclipse Oct. 30 as the soggiest of the year, with a good inch-and-a-half dousing for Seattle. The day is also likely to end up as the wettest Nov. 19 on record at Sea-Tac Airport, with the current mark of 1.23 inches from 1962 almost certain to fall.
Halfway through November, we’re in a bit of a rainfall deficit. With just 1.96 inches in the rain gauge at Sea-Tac so far, we’re received only two-thirds of the Nov. 1-15 average—exactly an inch less than normal for the first part of the month.
Fortunately—or unfortunately for those still drying out from Seattle’s near-record rains in October—we’ll be running a surplus by Thanksgiving, if not sooner.
A much more active weather pattern—promising sopping rains and howling winds—is at our doorstep, with the first soggy system set to move through here on Saturday. Until then, we’ll see a mostly dry day tomorrow, with just a chance of light rain later in the day. However, the made-for-postcard skies that dominated the weather picture today won’t be repeated, as clouds stream in ahead of the front.
It’s Veterans Day, and it’s raining.
Big surprise, considering Nov. 11’s recent soggy past.
Since 2005, it’s rained on every Veterans Day in Seattle—an eight-year stretch of wetness rivaled only by one other November day, the 7th, which also hasn’t recorded a totally dry day since 2004. (Nov. 7’s damp streak almost came to an end last Wednesday, when just a trace of rain fell after sunset at Sea-Tac Airport—the bare minimum necessary to classify the day as wet.)
Mother Nature has put the chill on our warm weather recently—in Seattle, highs have cooled to near-average the past few days—and now, things are about to get downright frosty.
With a cold air mass spreading south over Western Washington, the first widespread frost of the season is expected tomorrow night into Saturday morning as temperatures dip to the freezing mark.
Frost was already seen early this morning in some parts of the metro area as clear skies allowed the mercury to drop into the lower- to mid-30s. (Sea-Tac Airport, for one, bottomed out at 34 degrees—the coldest reading there since last March.) It’s important to realize that, because the ground is a little colder than the air right above it during the overnight hours, frost is often observed with temperatures in the mid 30s—since thermometers are generally located about five to six feet above the surface. Actual ground temperatures, of course, will always be 32 degrees or less whenever frost is present.
You know it’s mild outside when the overnight low is warmer than the average high temperature for the day.
That was the case early this morning, when the low temperature at Sea-Tac dropped to only 55 degrees—a notch above the average Nov. 4 high of 54 degrees. With temperatures forecast to rise into the lower 60s this afternoon, today will end up well above normal—lengthening Seattle’s recent balmy stretch to nine consecutive days.
Since Oct. 27, the daily high and low temperatures in Seattle have been stuck above average as we’ve remained on the warm side of the jet stream. High temperatures have generally been running about five degrees above the norm, while overnight lows have trended especially warm—around eight degrees higher than their mid-40s average, thanks to persistent cloud cover at night.
And you thought only politicians were masters at flip-flopping.
October 2012 has pulled off an impressive about-face of its own, having gone from near-record dryness in the first third of the month to a top-five finish in the ranks of Seattle’s wettest Octobers.
Although it seems like eons ago, what with our constantly drippy skies, last month began as Seattle’s driest in 21 years, with no rainfall recorded through Oct. 11. Those first 11 days, when tacked on to the extreme dryness the region experienced in August and September, gave us our driest roughly two-and-half month period (81 days to be exact, fact-checkers) in Seattle history.